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Is it true that CAFFEINE can inhibit fusion? (m)..

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 11/29/2015 - 8:08 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I was just remembering this - does anyone have a NS that told them that? I drink 2 cups of coffee inthe AM and about 2-3 diet pepsi's a day? Thanks.


  • I had a headache and my doctor's office suggested drinking coffee to hopefully help with the headache. I can't imagine that my doctor's office would have suggested that if they thought it would inhibit fusion. Now I'm confused. My doc is an ortho though. Now I have to ask my doctor. Hmmm....
    Cindy I'll be following this thread to see what others have to say. That's a really good question. Oh but I no longer drink any soda of any kind. It's kind of weird but I've lost my taste for them since my surgery.
  • I got a whole book full of does and don't and I caffeine wasn't on the list...but there were stories in the papers not to long ago about caffeine and bone loss? I don't know. I hope not. I drink like a gallon of iced tea a day.
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  • One of those grey areas....

    My fusion was very slow and I read about caffine somewhere on the web.

    Not easy to find a definitive list of whether you are allowed it or not to have it.

    Perhaps cut down a bit?

    Good luck .x
  • Caffeine doesn't necessarily impede bone healing directly, but it does affect your body's ability to heal by affecting uptake and excretion of nutrients. Caffeine affects sodium, chloride and potassium levels in your body. It significantly increases calcium loss in the urine (which leads to calcium bone loss). Other "bone robbers" include salt, sugar, alcohol and red meat. Cola drinks are really bad because they contain caffeine, sugar and phosphorous, all which decreases your body's calcium levels.

    So I guess I would avoid large quantities of caffeine, because it will decrease the amount of essential nutrients needed for proper bone healing. I still drink one cup of coffee in the am, and try to drink decaf when it's available.
  • But I also take a calcium supplement. I'll ask my neuro next week. I'm hoping it doesn't cause a problem. I could go with decaf since I drink coffee because I love the taste. It has to be a full flavored one. Don't like weak stuff.
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  • Cindy, this has come up here before, so you might search old threads. I remember someone had posted a link about an article about caffeine and bone loss. The one I had been concerned about was the phosphoric acid in diet pepsi. I found a lot of info saying that it can deplete your calcium and since calcium is needed for bone fusion I gave up my beloved diet pepsi for 4 months. The phosphorous is in most dark colored sodas. It is not in citrus or orange though so I have drank those. Recently I have been cheating a little and allowing myself one diet pepsi a day =P~ . I also drink some tea as well. I think it goes back to the old saying everything in moderation. >:D< Cali-Sue
  • I am also a heavy coffee drinker and it didn't affect my cervical fusion. For those worried about losing nutrients on a fusion, just put a daily vitamin with a orange and a banana in the coffee, LOL
  • Hi Cindy:

    Yes, this has been discussed before. I would think the best thing is to ask your doctor.

    I drink coffee and Diet Pepsi. I did before and after surgery. I also take a calcium supplement. I fused in 6 weeks.

    Every case is different, that is why your doctor is the best source for information.

  • Just because someone has a successful fusion while drinking coffee does not mean it serves as proof caffeine is harmless. Lol.

    First of all, caffeine in GENERAL, spine patient or not, is not good for your bones. It CAN POSSIBLY inhibit fusion, but it's not a sure thing, such as anti-inflammatory drugs. Caffeine is medically associated with the loss of bone mass and density over time. So, that being said, some doctors believe it's best for their patients to avoid caffeine as well as the anti-inflammatory drugs. It is still being studied in fusion patients, and there has not been any conclusive evidence either way.

    What I've been told is it's best, to be on the safe side, to limit caffeine intake in any form... Coffee, chocolate, etc.. If you do not feel you can eliminate it from your life for a period of time, or should you choose not to.

    Personally, I limit it. I don't drink any coffee. I still have chocolate from time to time... Which, granted, has a LOT less caffeine than a cup of coffee... A fraction, really. Anyhow, that's my personal choice on the matter. I believe that if it's a possibility, I'd rather not risk it. I'd rather not risk losing bone mass in general, actually. My coffee maker has been seriously neglected, but if I feel like I miss it too much (I haven't, but in the event I do), I plan on buying some decaf. (Even though it isn't entirely caffeine free, it has about 5mg per serving, whereas regular coffee has anywhere from 80mg to 250mg per serving.)

    I think it's just a personal choice. Varies by doctor, by patient. This is just my choice based on the information I've received via doctor and research of the facts of caffeine's effects on the human body.

    So to answer your question in a basic way; it is possible, but not proven at this point.
  • Rivertime,Thanks for the great technical information. I'm assuming that what you have described is why an older woman might have osteoporosis. I don't thinking that you were suggesting that we all give up coffee IMMEDIATELY or we will not see any signs of fusion. But let me ask. What types of foods should I add to my diet for proper bone health? I'm just not a big milk drinker and know that I need to add more calcium but what else might I add? Could I just write down all of the supplements you are currently taking. Does that seem to be sufficient?

    Lo, You said "Just because someone has a successful fusion while drinking coffee does not mean it serves as proof caffeine is harmless. I believe the reverse is also possible since in the medical community the jury is still out about what affect caffeine has on both health. Because if you read rivertime's information you will find there are many robbers of bone density including sodium so should I give up salt, red meat and sugar to? I really don't feel the need to run to my cabinet and throw out my coffee because coffee will cause me not to fuse. But if that's the right choice for you then great! Glad it works for you. I will stick with proper nutrition and add bone builders to my list and I think I could still then enjoy my coffee as well.
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